Claiming your Google+ Local page is essential for every business. Google is a powerhouse when it comes to sending you new customers and website traffic… utilize this! The way your customers look for information about the products and services they need has changed forever.
A massive 82% of customers now look for a local business on the Internet instead of traditional means such as the phone book or newspapers.
If you want your business to be an online giant, you need to ensure your business is one of the first results a potential customer sees when they are searching online.
Having your business listed on Google Plus Local is a vital first step if you want your business to be seen and to attract local customers.
Why Google+ Local
Google Plus Local is a free business directory that is placed at the top of Google’s search results. Google displays your business on a map and in a list at the top of the search results page. The map is highly visible to anybody searching for your local business or service online.
How Does Google+ Local Work?
Google compiles data from major certified information sources to determine which businesses should be listed on Google+ Local. The more your business features in these information sources, the higher Google will rank your business in Google Places…
If your business is new or does not consistently feature in some of the sources then your business will not be seen by any local customers searching for your goods and services in the search engines.
If you already have a website that is ranked highly in the Google search results, you will also be more visible in Google Plus Local. However, even if your website doesn’t rank very highly in organic search results, simply claiming your Google Plus Local page will still help your business become very visible to potential customers and will help your business in other ways.
To better understand how Google plus Local works, open your browser window and go to http://www.google.com.
Now enter your business type. For my example, I have chosen “dry cleaners”. Now hit “search”.
Your page may look slightly different to my image, but you will still be able to see the same sections of information:
1) Paid search results
2) Map with markers
3) Local Search Results (the businesses marked on the map)
The Map (2) and the Local Search Results (3) are where your business will be placed using Google+ Local.
How will potential customers see YOUR business?
This section really emphasizes the importance of claiming your Google+ Local page. When a potential customer searches on Google, a map appears toward the very top of the search results as shown in the graphic above.
This map displays the location of businesses in the area that are related to type of business the consumer has just searched for in Google. These are displayed as pinpoints on the map.
In addition you will also see at the top of the results a list next to that map. When you claim your Google+ Local page your business will feature in this list of local businesses.
Businesses relevant our search term “dry cleaners” are visible on the map AND in the list to the left.
This map stays permanently visible even if the customer scrolls down the page, resulting in the top ranked business being visible to searchers at all times.
The displayed map and list are based on the location of the person using the Google search engine so it doesn’t matter where they are, they will always see businesses local to them at that particular time.
Having a well-crafted Google Places listing, combined with a few optimization tips, will have you positioned at the top of the list of businesses and displayed more prominently on the map so you will get a lot more customers.
Will I still benefit from my free Google Plus Local list if I do not have a website?
It doesn’t matter whether you have a website for your business or not, as your business profile in Google Plus Local allows you to be visible on the map and in the corresponding search positions. This means shoppers can still find you.
The Google Plus Local listings are used by other search engines for information, so even if you are not in the top 10 results, there are more ways for your Google Plus Local listing to help make your business visible on the internet. You will still benefit from Google Plus Local without a website.
For best results optimize your business listing. Maintain and update it regularly. This will help you be displayed in the top 10 results. Having a separate website that ranks properly in Google will also impact how highly you appear in the Places results.
The handy thing about Google Plus Local is that you can login and update your listing any time, so if you build a website later on, you can add that information to your Google Plus Local listing and raise your visibility.
Your listing is visible as soon as it is processed. We have had listings that were verified by telephone appear in Google Plus Local and Google Maps within hours of submission, so the sooner you claim your page the quicker you can get the benefit.
What if I do not appear on the first page of Google Plus Local results?
Some businesses have more competition than others, and your business may not appear in the top 10 results from Google Plus Local right away.
However, this can be fixed by giving Google a bit more information about your business, and growing the web traffic to your site so Google realizes your business is popular and deserves a spot in their top results!